Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Cleaning


Enough of the endless winter ennui.

Enough of feeling sorry for myself for the lack of spring. And the persistance of grime. And mouse turds.


Enough of yet another week lost in work and illness. (Yes. The ninth bout of crud for this season. Not approaching that horrible season of '01, where I succumbed to 14 separate bouts of crud between November and June--the first year of same-day-caring and therefore abbreviated, no less, so stop whining.)


So, I arose with some semblance of energy and a bee in my butt. Well, a bee after a morning loafing with the small ones on the sofas, eating breakfast and doing nothing of value beyond the eating and getting breakfast for various and sundry beings. And that after sleeping in to the slothful hour of 7:04 AM CDT. ("Boy, mom sure sleeps late on weekends, doesn't she, Dad? Yes, son, she sure does, but some people like to sleep in a bit on the weekends.")


Well, enough after lunch and a rest. And the getting of lunch for the various and sundry. And the starting of seeds in small pots of peat under newly purchased grow lights. $100 spent to save $40 in new plants. If they live. But if one is going to claim to be a gardener, at some point one really does need to commit to growing more than sunflowers from seed. (And let's face it, the sunflowers have had less than a 50% success rate. More like 5%. Sunflowers. The things that grow where birds poop them.)

Enough. 1:30 pm and out you go. To the garage where you need to expell the garage floor of winter gravel and sand and dust on the floor of cement. And mouse doodies. Let's not forget the pounds of mouse doodies. Apparently the few field mice that did manage to get into the garage this winter found it to be the land of milk and honey and bags of garbage of partially eaten foodstuffs. And it was good. And cathartic. And they did eat much of it. And now, that they are no more with us (may their little beady-eyed souls rest in peace in the great garbage-filled garage in the sky), it is time to rid the garage of their evidence, the small black ovals blanketing the garage. (Let's try not to remember the symptoms of Hantavirus, shall we? Or the Hantavirus deaths.)

A full hour spent sweeping the detritus of the winter from the garage. And now to the garden. The first day of gardening. The first day of cleaning out two of the three parts of the front flower beds, each finally with noses of the bulbs of daffodils and tulips and the first flowers of the bravest of crocuses up, finally exposed to the sun, previously hidden by the rotting, frozen plant matter of last fall's fallen, now removed. New. Green. Forgotten. Remembered.

Oh, but wait.

I forgot the visitor.

Standing 100 meters (100 yards for those of us who still cling to the outmoded) from where I paced, sweeping, was the large, antler-free quadroped, gleaning the freshly plowed cornfield across the road and looking like chiseled Adonis. Molly-dog and I surreptitiously watched him from across the road for 10 minutes as he studiously ignored us, looking buff but aware of our admiration. And then the spell was broken.

Charles, sleepy from his afternoon nap (naps are important if you start your day at 5 am on the weekend for no better reason than habit), stepped out to investigate the dual sighting of a llama in the cornfield across the road.

("Dad! Dad! Wake up! There's a LLAMA across the road! Really! You've got to come and see!)

We decide that our children may not be as countrified as we thought, if they can't tell the difference between a llama and a deer at a distance of 100 m. (The 'llama' having bounded away in a distinctly un-llama-like fashion, flashing his white tale.)

Or maybe it's not that they aren't yet countrified, but it's in their genes to see llamas.

Happy springish.

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Blogger Jocelyn said...

We just got our seeds in two days ago, so the sunny back porch is doubling as greehouse during the day (then they're all toted in at night). You are pretty HIGH RENT with your grow lights, lady.

Maybe tomorrow your kids will spot a platypus across the road?

12:19 AM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

we had grow lights when I was a kid - in our dining room! Those were the years when we all toodle off "up north" to my grandparents' farm (they had since moved to "the city," but the farm remained in their possession), and we spent the whole summer gardening - about a half acre's worth of vegetable garden - enough to feed our family for the whole year, once my mom got it all canned.

We're putting in a garden this year. Just starting to think about it - where will we put it, what do I want to plant. We've had many discussions about the advice doled out on gardening in the latest Mother Earth News.

Just sign me,
Comment Hog (oink!)

11:36 AM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

just pretend you don't see the typos and the words where I managed to, um, use the wrong tense, m'kay?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Huzzah, huzzah! I'm glad you said "enough already"! Nothing like vigorous sweeping to catch the cobwebs (and mouse poops) that gather in your garage and in your soul. Yes, we all get mouse poops in our soul sometimes, I am convinced of it.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grow Lights here in Oregon will get you in the newspaper and the court record. But I did see a deer in the back field of your high school. Pretty Cool, too.

Saw MOEGIRL on TV the other night doing good things for unfortunate folks. Sure am proud of her if she reads this.

The Ole RF-er

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

Man- I really believed that you were going to be posting a picture of a llama! So glad you sprung the garage of droppings and cobwebs-I only go into our garage to get beer! I can't wait to plant my sunflower! :)

10:22 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Happy Spring to you!

I was looking at seed packets this weekend but did not get any until we move. I so want a flower and herb garden!

I hope that llama returns!

11:05 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Llama. hee hee!

Just followed that link Que Paso and am v. v. sad I missed out on the Mr Bean Debate. LOVE, LOVE THE BEAN.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

A Grow-Op for seedlings! Well, it's a great sign of spring as is the deer and appearance of bulb plants.
Lots of our snow is melting as it's been raining and 10 C today. Snow flurries tonight though! My turn to say, "ENOUGH!"

1:38 PM  
Anonymous JoeInVegas said...

We just do tomatoes, and those went in the ground a few weeks ago so we can get a crop before it hits 100. We've given up on the rest, and just enjoy the desert.
Quite a change from San Diego, where we had over 300 rose bushes, some bananas, plus lots of other stuff.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Try not to get hantavirus. Ergh!!!!

So glad you are finally getting some bulb action in the frozen Midwest. If it's any consolation, it has been extraordinarily chilly and Midwestern here in PDX. Frost this morning. Lots of it and a mega-hailstorm on Sunday.

P.S. Not related at all to your post, but I saw our friend Dr. A. H. yesterday. She is so great! Sane, friendly, funny, and nonpatronizing.

10:02 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I do not know how you can manage to make a description of cleaning a garage funny. How? You are such a great writer. And quite lovely as well, did I mention that? Your beautiful smile, your charming eyes, your...

what do you mean, you won't clean my room? I wasn't hinting anything!

I'm glad you got to see the llama. We saw a lot of them in Duluth, just standing in people's yards. It was so cool. Of course, the camera wasn't within reach at the time.

1:52 PM  
Blogger listie said...

Damn, damn antler-free quadropeds! They came through last night and demolished 90% of the crocuses, a large bunch of tulips and anything else daring to show its face. This is war! (And those new hostas I was planning on buying? Nope; not buying any high-priced deer food.)

6:11 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

I could have sworn I had left a comment here already, did I just write it in my mind? How mental.

What colour was the anal shield? If you happened to notice it we'll be able to ID the species! And THAT would be highly cool.

4:25 AM  

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